I realised the other day, that as much as I wanted to think that I was playing seriously, I was essentially a recreational player. At the same time, I got a sense that I might be able to make this whole poker thing pay some dividends if I just take it more seriously. Not that I have to stop having fun, but I need to think about why I'm playing, what I am playing and what I expect to achieve by it. With that in mind, I marked Friday as the day I'd start this in earnest and set aside a chunk of time to play some poker.

I warmed up by playing a couple of 9 handed turbos and ran pretty bad in both. I played well, but was very much cold decked. After that, I fired up a .25¢ 45 and 90 player SNG. I lasted nearly an hour in the 45 SNG and finished 17th, but I had forgotten before I played that the 90 SNG is a bit slower than the 45, which I think suited me very nicely; starting stack is 75 BB and blinds increase every 15 minutes. I never dipped below 50BB on my way to the final table and showed up with a third of all the chips in play. I had half the chips when we got down to four handed and 95% of the chips HU (160BB v 8BB)! 

...

103 hand later... it's all over and it was brutal. The first two flips are 60/40 in my favour and he hits them both. I play one bad hand, but the rest the villain is on a heater. I get pocket cowboys and no action. I get pocket rockets and no action. I flop a set a 4's and the villain gives up on a Q4J board. When I get a hand, he has no interest. And when he get's a hand, he's getting lucky. In the end I shove AJ into his AK and I'm down to 2BB and last another 2 hands...

I'd be lying if I say I wasn't crushed and that it didn't affect me. I wasn't tilty and I never thought about destroying my keyboard, but I was disappointed. I felt I played well and just got very unlucky. Reviewing the hands a few days later, my feelings were verified. I did play fairly well. And I came 2nd. That's not too shabby.

So, that's the first day of me being serious about playing poker and it's hard to imagine a worse day in some regards. Which is good, because it's now all down hill from here. And the really funny part of all this? I only realised the date after the day had ended; it all happend on Friday the 13th.